Long Grain White and Brown Rice.
True farm to table sustainable rice production. Totally verticle operation from owning the farm to the mill to the packaging and warehaousing.
JOHNNY HUNTER’S RICE FIELDS HUM WITH BEES. Here in the Missouri bootheel, deer herds, racoons, owls and hawks thrive on the third-generation farmer’s 2,200 acres of blended cover crops, popcorn, and long-grain rice. “In the spring, when the cover crops bloom out, the bees come back,” he says. “The crops are like a homing beacon. They just find us.” The mushrooming wildlife population keeps Hunter’s crops healthy—and eliminates the need for massproduced practices like pesticides, fungicides, tillage, and traditional rice flooding. The result: His highly aerobic soil grows 1.5 million pounds of nutritious white and brown rice that his family mills on their farm each year. His customers praise it for its consistently long, thin grains and slightly buttery taste. That consistency is nearly unheard of among major rice producers. Traditional farming methods can create fluctuating flavor and, more worrisome, higher amounts of arsenic and other harmful chemicals. The public’s growing demand for food that is healthy for their families and the planet has created a watershed moment in American agriculture, one that’s led to the birth of the global agroecology movement. Here in the rural Midwest, Hunter is the leader of this movement, which is typified by small-farm practices that prioritizes soil health over mass production. One sign of Hunter’s success: His devotion to ecologicaldriven practices, coupled with his grandfather and father’s hard work clearing and irrigating the land, has brought millions of earthworms (a key indicator species) back to Castor River Farms. In 2012, Hunter traded in his grandfather’s plough for a blend of cover crops, from cereal rye to crimson clover, to suppress weeds, reduce soil erosion, and naturally infuse the ground with nitrogen. The shift, coupled with likeminded ecological practices like rotational cattle grazing, a zerotolerance pesticide policy, and precision-point irrigation, ushered in a new era: One where his farm works with nature. Not in spite of it. “There’s more biology in a tablespoon of healthy soil than there are people on this planet,” Hunter says. “Soil health is a journey, not a destination. My land is like a fine wine. It keeps getting better with time.”